Nevada caucuses kick-off as Democrats test new reporting process for results

Nevada voters indicate their support for Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg during voting in Henderson. (Reuters)

Voting is underway across Nevada as the most diverse state so far has its say in the Democrats’ nomination fight.

Yet there were questions about when results from Saturday’s voting might be released under the complicated new caucus reporting process.

Just before polls opened at noon PST, Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez wouldn’t commit to a timeline.

“Our goal is to get results as soon as possible,” Perez said. “But also, first and foremost, to get it right.”

Undismayed by logistics, hundreds of uniformed housekeepers and casino workers streamed into the Bellagio, one of seven casino-resorts on the Las Vegas Strip among 200 locations statewide hosting caucuses. Nevada is the third contest on a 2020 election calendar marked by chaos and uncertainty after the opening votes in Iowa and New Hampshire, overwhelmingly white, rural states.

The first presidential contest in the West is testing the candidates’ strength with black and Latino voters for the first time in 2020.

“Nevada represents an opportunity for these candidates to demonstrate their appeal to a larger swath of our country,” said state Attorney General Aaron Ford, a Democrat who is not endorsing a candidate.

Nevada’s population aligns more with the US as a whole, compared with Iowa and New Hampshire: 29% Latino, 10% black and 9% Asian American and Pacific Islander.

Self-described democratic socialist Bernie Sanders has emerged as the front-runner in the race so far as a half-dozen more-moderate candidates criticize one another. Each wants to be the preferred alternative to the Vermont senator in the race to take on President Donald Trump in November.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:57 - GMT 06:57
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